Havoc:The Auxiliaries in Ireland's War of Independence

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In 1919, Ireland was plunged into a brutal guerilla war. Although unconventional warfare made the British governmnet uncomfortable, senior politicians realised a specialist unti was needed to fight the insurgency. In July 1920, a paramilitary corps of former soldiers was deployed in a supportive role to the police. Trained for swift, surgical assaults and sent into a war zone with little or no understanding of the conflict or the locals, the Auxiliary Division of the Royal Irish Constabulary trailed a wake of death, hatred and destruction in incidents such as the Burning of Cork, the Limerick Curfew Murders and the Battle of Brunswick Street. The British government had unleashed a force in Ireland that it was unable to control and that was condemned internationally for their actions in Ireland. Drawing on archival material from the bloody annals of British imperial policy, Paul O'Brien reconstructs the actions of the Auxiliaries, providing a balanced examination or their origins and operations, without glossing over the brutal deaths. 'Havoc' is a controversial account of a side of the War of Independence that is rarely studied from an Irish perspective.